Housiversary II: The Year That Was

Year Numero Dos in our house was a pretty big year for us. Unlike Housiversary One, we don’t have room after room of changes to show you. Last year we had so many blank walls to deal with but this year, so this year we focused on other improvements to the house. We also had a few hindrances which slowed us down that we didn’t have to deal with the previous year—a puppy and Greg’ grueling academic schedule.

The other big difference between this year and last year was our budget. Last year we just spent and spent not thinking about it because it was fun and new (we did save though.) This year we did budget and we sat down before every project to price it out. One of the main reasons we are taking on another big project this year is because we both made an effort to save our credit cards cashback specifically for the living room. Over the past few months, we’ve maximized the rewards by paying attention to the rewards for shopping through them/monthly specials.

Side note: For those of you worrying about our credit card use (I’m looking at you parental units), we pay it off every month. I prefer using my credit card because I can see where my money is going (and get money back for using it) versus cash because I can’t track it as well. Plus cash doesn’t offer 5% back for shopping through their website.

Let’s get started with the big (and small) changes since last year.

1. Hazel

First Eagles Game Nov. 2011/ First Eagles Game Sept. 2012

Isn’t she a sweetheart! This had to have been the biggest change in our lives since moving into the house—I’m going to say even more than moving into the house. She’s a good girl (most of the time) but she definitely impacts how we project and when we project. Most of the winter we were not able to achieve anything due to the constant attention she required. It worked out well because Greg had no extra time to project with all the school work he needed to do for his two classes.  We had to send her to my mom’s when the ceiling fans were installed because it was just too much going on around the house.

We love our Hazelnut and wouldn’t trade her for a bunch of rooms already finished. Although we wish she would stop eating the arborvitae. Seriously, the dog ripped branches off the tree from about three feet down.

Or she chooses to chew on the tree itself.

2. He Put A Ring On It

After three years of dating and seven years after our first kiss (at a party I wasn’t even planning on going to), Greg made an honest woman out of me. He knocked this one out of the ballpark by making the ring himself and then renting out a movie theater to propose. Only 213 days until we’re a real family but only a little more than a week until you get to read out us making our wedding bands.  If you want to have an awwww moment, here is the proposal trailer.

3. Dining Room

Let us just stare in wonder at the before and after of this room. It’s love. I just want to invite people in to stare at it’s gorgeousness. Now we just need better furniture, install crown molding, and hang the curtains. I’m scared we might have peaked with this room and our next project won’t look as good but we’ll find out this Thanksgiving as we have another home improvement staycation planned.

4. Backyard

Before

After

During because I forgot to take one of the wilderness it was before

After

We’ve made a huge dent with this area but we are nowhere near done. We had to outsource most of the projecting because it’s not our forte. Originally we thought about (and priced it out) installing the fencing ourselves but it was worth the extra money (about $800) to have someone else install it. As much as we love DIY, there comes a point when it’s smarter to let someone else do it for you.

5. Ceiling Fans

Before

After

My favorite change and another one we did not do ourselves. If we had boxes in the ceiling, we would have but it required two electricians a day and a half to install six ceiling fans. We went most of the summer not using our air conditioning because of how cool the fans kept each room. It’s love.

Come back tomorrow to see what we have planned for the upcoming year!

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